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Toner looking for early progression for players in Millmoor cup tie

18 November 2023


Toner looking for early progression for players in Millmoor cup tie

18 November 2023

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New Belles manager Ciaran Toner insists he is looking for small steps of progression for his side as they prepare for their first game under his stewardship.

Toner will take charge of his first match in the role as the Belles visit Millmoor Juniors Development in the Sheffield and Hallamshire FA Senior Cup at Grange Park in Rotherham on Sunday, November 19 (2pm).

The 42-year-old is guarding against expectations for a dramatic change from the group and instead is hopeful the players have taken on board what has been worked on in his two training sessions so far.

“We’d be pretty naive to think it’s going to be an overnight change,” Toner said. “There’s some good foundations in place but I think we have to be pragmatic and realistic about where we want to go.

“We’re about a third of the way into the season, there’s a lot more to come and a lot of games to play. I think it can be overwhelming to come in and think there is going to be a massive transition of information. It’d be naive to think that was a way forward.

“It’s about drip-feeding information that we want them to get quickly in the first instance and prioritise that. And we have to judge our success on that from what we see in games and then we build on that and layer on that as appropriate based on how it’s been received.

“It’s very much a flexible system in terms of our approach and methodology in terms of what we have to try to implement into the players and how we want to play and the concepts and principles.

“I’ll be trying to give them as much as I can but being very conscious that Rome wasn’t built in a day. We can’t overwhelm them because it’ll have a negative effect.”

Hosts Millmoor currently sit top of Sheffield and Hallamshire Women and Girls League Open Age Division Two having won six of their seven matches so far.

“We’ll be respectful of any opposition that we face and I’m looking forward to a really tough game on Sunday, make no mistake,” Toner said.

“But it’s about what we can control. We have to be mindful of what other teams bring to the table on a matchday but the objective for us with the girls is to try to implement the ability for them to make good decisions on the field based on what is coming in front of them.

“It doesn’t really matter who the opposition is and I mean that with all due respect. We just have to focus on what we can control because ultimately that’s the kind of thing we want to be focusing on in training every week.

“I’m expecting a very tough game on Sunday and we’ll be going fully prepared for that.”

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